UNVEILING THE DEBT MANAGEMENT AMONG MICRO-ENTREPRENEURS OF PERISHABLE GOODS
Keywords:business administration, debt management, phenomenology, thematic analysis, micro-entrepreneurs, Philippines
In today's complex and competitive world, debt management has become essential to running microenterprises. This phenomenological study aimed to convey the insights and real-life experiences of micro-entrepreneurs of perishable goods on debt management. Research participants were selected using the snowball sampling technique. Using the researcher-made interview guide questions, data were collected through focus-group discussion and in-depth interviews with ten micro-entrepreneurs. Data were analyzed employing thematic analysis. The themes that flourished in lived experiences are debt for a purpose, debt brings convenience and sustainability if managed well, and debt brings emotional and psychosocial side hassles. Participants cope with the challenges by becoming streetwise regarding market transactions, manifesting values as an entrepreneur, and getting used to everyday struggles. The insights that the micro-entrepreneurs shared are debt comes with greater responsibility and obligation, innovation and flexibility are an edge and working hard for yourself and your family. Hence, knowing and understanding the debt management of micro-entrepreneurs helped them identify opportunities to improve further their levels of handling debt, which may then contribute to the success of their enterprises. Implications of the study findings are likewise presented in the paper.